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Energy efficiency in the residential sector: identification of promising policy instruments and private initiatives among selected European countries

  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
    Gianluca Trotta
    Joachim Spangenberg
    Sylvia Lorek
  • Publisher(s)/Producter(s):

Improving residential energy efficiency is widely recognised as one of the best strategies for reducing energy demand, combating climate change, and increasing security of energy supply. However, progress has been slow to date due to a number of market and behavioural barriers that have not been adequately addressed by energy efficiency policies and programmes. This study is based on updated findings of the European Futures for Energy Efficiency Project that responds to the EU Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014–2015 theme ‘Secure, clean and efficient energy’. This article draws on five case studies from selected European countries—Finland, Italy, Hungary, Spain, and the UK—and evaluates recent energy efficiency developments in terms of indicators, private initiatives, and policy measures in the residential sector. Our analysis shows that the UK government has implemented a better range of policies, coupled with initiatives from the private sector, aimed at improving energy efficiency. However, its existing conditions appear to be more problematic than the other countries. On the other hand, the lack of effective and targeted policies in Finland resulted in increased energy consumption, while in Hungary, Spain and Italy some interesting initiatives, especially in terms of financial and fiscal incentives, have been found.

European Commission
Policy Quality
Personal Finance